I-League: Lalrindika strike wins East Bengal the derby
A world class strike from Lalrindika Ralte gave East Bengal a 1-0 win over arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in the Round 10 clash of the Airtel I-League at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday.
The season’s first big Kolkata derby produced very few goal scoring chances but Lalrindika’s moment of magic in the 73rd minute gave Armando Colaco a winning start as East Bengal coach.
This was the 306th edition of this historic fixture and it was witnessed by a crowd of more than 80,000 in an electrifying atmosphere.
The first real chance of the game fell to Mohun Bagan as skipper Odafa Okolie, who was playing in a deeper role, sent Eric Muranda clean through on goal with a lovely through pass but the Kenyan’s effort was well saved by Abhijit Mondal and Katsumi Yusa’s shot from the rebound was blocked by Arnab Mondal.
East Bengal were seeing more of the ball but struggling to break down a well ogranised Mohun Bagan backline with a header from Edeh Chidi being their only meaningful attempt and that too went off target.
Worryingly for East Bengal, midfield general and skipper Mehtab Hossain came off with an injury but just minutes later Lalrindika broke the deadlock with a trademark left-footed effort from 30 yards much to delight of the thousands of East Bengal fans.
The result ends Mohun Bagan’s four-match unbeaten run and sees East Bengal overtake their arch-rivals. Both sides have ten points each but Armando Colaco’s side have a superior goal difference and played three games less.
Image: East Bengal forward Edeh Chidi (right) runs past Mohun Bagan defence at a packed Salt Lake Stadium
Photographs: AIFF Media